Gutters play an essential role in protecting the structural integrity of your home. A well-maintained gutter system is vitally important in ensuring that rainwater will be effectively drained away from the foundation. While it’s logical to expect water to flow through and carry away bits of debris, in reality, debris can build up to such an extent that water can’t pass through at all. To avoid damage to your home’s exterior, here are some reasons why gutter cleaning is important.
Drowning Plants and/or Soil Erosion
One consequence of not cleaning the gutter system is overflowing gutters. When there are shrubs and flower beds beneath the eaves, gutters that overflow can drown the plants. Water that doesn’t properly drain away from the foundation can lead to soil erosion, causing the foundation to shift. If the gutters aren’t cleaned and the overflowing doesn’t stop, damage to the foundation could become severe.
Another consequence of overflowing gutters is the damage it can do to the siding. When water escapes for the gutter system, it can get in behind siding panels, out of reach of fresh air and heat from the sun. If moisture doesn’t evaporate, mold growth or rotting boards could occur. When rainwater doesn’t infiltrate the siding and just remains on the surface, it can stain the siding, becoming unsightly to look at and comprising the siding’s ability to protect your home.
Prevent Soffit and Fascia Rot
Soffit and fascia boards close off the ends of the rafters and the underside of the roof overhang, preventing moisture from entering the attic. Water from overflowing gutters can splash up onto the soffit and fascia, allowing the formation of rot or mold. Even if blocked gutters don’t result in overflowing, standing water is still a source of moisture that can seep into the soffit and fascia.
Pests and Nests
When you don’t clean the gutters regularly, they fill up with leaves, twigs, seed pods, pollen, and dirt. Accumulated organic matter in a gutter system can be an attractive place for pests such as mice, rats, squirrels, and birds to set up home.
Weighing the Gutters Down
When gutters aren’t cleaned for long periods of time, the combination of standing water and debris can weigh the gutter system down, causing it to sag. If left unattended indefinitely, gutter sections can even break away and fall to the ground. And missing gutters really aren’t good for your house exterior.
Extensive Roofing Damage
Because clogged gutters don’t drain properly, it becomes virtually impossible for water to completely exit the gutter system. If rainwater cannot flow smoothly down the roof and into the gutters, water pools on the roof. When ponding occurs, water sits in one place, damaging the roofing tiles and can result in moisture getting into the underlayment (and into the interior of your home).